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Informational Only

This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.

FAST Commissioning for Pumped-Storage Hydropower Prize

Share ideas for reducing the time, cost, and risk for pumped-storage hydropower

Department of Energy - Energy Programs

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $550,000
Type of Challenge: Ideas
Submission Start: 04/01/2019 01:00 PM ET
Submission End: 05/24/2019 05:00 PM ET

This challenge is externally hosted.

You can view the challenge details here:


The Furthering Advancements to Shorten Time (FAST) Commissioning for Pumped-Storage Hydropower (PSH) Prize aims to attract ideas to reduce the time, cost, and risk required to commission PSH projects. This is the first prize of its kind and is structured to support anyone with a great idea and the motivation to develop their idea into a full business concept.

Today's electricity system is changing rapidly and hydropower and PSH have an essential role in contributing to the resilience, reliability, and affordability of the U.S. power system. PSH is by far the largest source of energy storage on the grid, and it will play a key role in supporting increased integration of variable generation resources. But large capital investments and long lead times for PSH commissioning are deterrents to would-be developers and utilities.

The goal of the prize is to catalyze new solutions, designs, and strategies to accelerate PSH development by reducing the time, cost and risk to commission PSH. Ideas could include innovative PSH ideas, new layouts, creative construction management, improved construction equipment, application of advanced manufacturing, or standardization of equipment.

Finalists will receive vouchers for up to 50 hours of support from one of four DOE national laboratories to prepare for a pitch contest which will result in up to 3 winners and up to $550,000 of combined cash prizes and voucher support.

Detailed Timeline:

  • Concept stage submission deadline: May 24, 2019
  • Concept stage winners announced: Up to 10 finalists notified for participation in incubation stage: July 2019
  • Incubation stage begins, with up to 50 hours of technical assistance/support provided to finalists between July – October 2019
  • Incubation stage closes, with submission of final report and pitch deck due October 2019
  • Pitch contest stage: FAST Prize pitch contest in October 2019
  • Grand Prize winner announcement: Pitch contest winners announced in October 2019
  • Grand Prize winners voucher support period: Up to 3 winners selected and up to $550,000 of combined cash prizes and voucher support provided to winners between November 2019 – September 2020


Finalist (Up to 10)

Up to 10 finalists will receive 50 hours of support at the national laboratories. Up to three winners will receive up to $550,000 of combined cash prizes and voucher support. 



See official rules:

Judging Criteria

Please review the official rules for the application process and instructions for competing.